Holden's Fear of Change in The Catcher in the Rye

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People rebel for a cause. In the book “The Catcher in the Rye” , the protagonist, Holden Caulfield is living in a school called Pencey Prep. Holden is failing all of his classes except English, and he often curses and smokes cigarettes in his dorm. One of Holden’s main problems in life is the death of his brother Allie. Allie, who died of leukemia 3 years prior to the events of the book, was the only person who deeply understood Holden. When Allie died, Holden broke all of the windows in his garage while breaking his own hand. Holden even states that he tried to break his family’s station wagon, but his hand was broken. This event shows that Holden really cared about Allie and that his death had a huge impact on his life. The death of Allie created a fear for Holden, Holden became afraid of change. Holden himself stated that Allie was very mature for his age and very smart in the quote “He was two years younger than I was, but he was about fifty times as intelligent.” (p. 21). The way Holden sees change is the more you grow, the closer to death you find yourself. In the poem “Novel” by Arthur Rimbaud, the narrator talks about drinking and walking around. The narrator is having fun and is in tune with the environment. A quote that supports this is “At times the air is so scented that we close our eyes,” Other lines in the stanza also support this idea. In the next section, the narrator talks about his/her surroundings and how he feels. He is interrupted by a sudden kiss and starts to tremble like a small insect. In the next section, the narrator starts to talk to himself in his mind. The narrator uses the word ‘you’ not to the reader, but to himself to think about the things he is seeing, for example the attractive girl. The narrat... ... middle of paper ... ... narrator, those events triggered a moment of hesitation where the narrator had to make a choice, leave his old lifestyle and pursue a relationship with the girl, or he can continue his free lancing and not take things seriously. The narrator changes, but the girl becomes what he was, a seventeen year old who doesn’t take things seriously. When Holden gives Phoebe his red hunting hat, he is making her the next ‘catcher in the rye’. He grows into adulthood and he takes Phoebe as his replacement by giving her the red hunting hat, which symbolizes the role. Both Holden and the narrator grow into new roles and give up their old roles to women. Although, they both give up their roles and grow into adulthood to the same women who helped and influenced them to grow up. These characters helped the protagonists overcome their fear of change and finally turn them into adults.

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